Ideas to Interventions is a new website and service that is designed to accelerate the process of translating early-phase behavioral research into effective, clinical practice.
The genesis of the site was a conference sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that was held in Bethesda, Maryland in September, 2016. At the end of the event, Susan Czajkowski of NCI and Len Epstein of the University at Buffalo, co-organizers and chairs of the event, were discussing the fact that that many researchers found it difficult to stay up-to-date with their own fields, let alone absorb new research from potentially related fields with which they were less familiar or had little exposure. This time-crunch and inability to access and utilize ideas from diverse research fields slows the flow and integration of basic and clinical research and the translation of behavioral research into health-related behavioral interventions. In addition, it limits the number of people involved in the community who are capable of and interested in conducting early-phase translation research.
Rather than leave the problem unsolved, there was a decision to expand the initial conversation to include some of the people who had presented at the conference. This included Becky Ashare, Warren Bickel, Karina Davidson, Ken Freedland, Lynda Powell, and several others. The upshot of these discussions was a recognition that this community could benefit from three distinct activities:
- A mechanism for filtering, and highlighting, interesting articles that might be at the periphery of one’s usual reading list.
- A faster way of disseminating early research ideas, and getting feedback from one’s peers.
- A range of material to make it easy for community members to introduce behavioral research to a wider audience.
This website is one element of a series of “experiments” that are intended to improve the community’s ability to meet those three needs.
Over the next 12 months, we will be creating a number of different versions of this site, and the various services it will offer. We want to create these designs in a participatory manner. To that end, we will be creating design documents, probably on a monthly basis, outlining the next revision of the site, and inviting comments. We will also be publishing the various data we collect, e.g., engagement level, resource creation, and community size. Our overall hope is that this experimental and collaborative approach can provide useful input for anyone interested in developing more effective ways to translate early-phase behavioral research.